Last week we talked about this month being Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. This week we are going to talk about this being American Diabetes Month. The majority of us know someone that has been affected by diabetes. Whether it is type 1 or type 2 diabetes they both can cause many complications, and even death. Let’s talk about the different types of diabetes and what you can do to take good care of your health, as well as the health of your family.
Type 1 Diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long. Be aware though that even older adults can be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It depends on a number of factors including a genetic propensity towards diabetes.
Living With Type 1 Diabetes:
You’ve just been told you have type 1 diabetes. What now?
At its core, proper type 1 diabetes management is composed of a handful of elements: blood glucose control and insulin management, exercise, nutrition and support.
* Medication: A diagnosis of type 1 diabetes means your pancreas is no longer capable of producing insulin. Through multiple daily injections with insulin pens or syringes or an insulin pump, it will be up to you to monitor your blood glucose levels and appropriately administer your insulin. You will need to work closely with your healthcare team to determine which insulin or insulin’s are best for you and your body.
* Exercise: Exercise is also a key component of proper diabetes care. Along with all of the other benefits you will receive from being active, your diabetes will also respond in kind with more stable blood glucose levels. We have plenty of information and tips to help get you motivated and keep your exercise routines fresh.
* Nutrition: Nutrition is one of the most important pieces of the diabetes puzzle. Understanding how different foods affect your blood glucose and learning to develop solid meal plans will be a crucial part of your daily routine.
* Support: Emotional support, while not often initially considered, plays a key role in diabetes care. Connecting with other people living with diabetes that understand the daily grind of counting carbohydrates, testing blood glucose multiple times each day and dealing with the various highs and lows (both physical and emotional) of life with diabetes can make all the difference.
You Can Do This:
Living with type 1 diabetes is tough but with proper care can be a footnote in your life’s story. Balancing nutrition, exercise and proper blood glucose management techniques with the rest of your life’s priorities mean anything is possible:
* Win an Amazing Race
* Become a NASCAR driver
* Become a pop star with international appeal.
No matter what you want to achieve, You Can Do This.
Living With Type 2 Diabetes:
First, take a deep breath.
You have type 2 diabetes. And yes, it’s a big deal. But you know what? It’s also something you can deal with. And the American Diabetes Association is here to help.
Finding Out: When people first find out that they have diabetes, it’s sometimes really scary, or sad, or even hard to believe. After all, you probably don’t feel sick, or any different than you felt before you were told you have diabetes. And yet it is very important to take this disease seriously. Some people who learn they have diabetes worry that it means their life is over, or that they won’t be able to do everything they used to do. Neither of those things is true.
Your New Job: What is true is that you may need to change some things about your daily routine. It’s not your fault that you got diabetes, but it is your job to take care of yourself.
You Can Manage Your Diabetes: There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can be managed. Balancing the food you eat with exercise and medicine (if prescribed) can keep your blood glucose in a healthy range.
Many people with diabetes live long and healthful lives.
Your diabetes care team will help you, but day-to-day diabetes care is up to you.
That care includes:
* Choosing what, how much, and when to eat
* Getting physically active
* Taking medicine (if your doctor prescribes it)
* Checking your blood glucose (if your doctor prescribes it)
* Going to your appointments
* Learning all you can about diabetes
TIP: You can ask your doctor for a referral to a diabetes education program recognized by the American Diabetes Association or call 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. ET.
With any type of diabetes your doctor will want you to monitor your blood glucose at home. Most people just prick their finger for a small drop of blood for use with a personal glucose meter.
Why is it Important?
Before you had diabetes, no matter what you ate or how active you were, your blood glucose automatically stayed within a normal range. With diabetes, this is no longer true. Checking your blood glucose is one way you can know how food, activity and medicine affect your blood glucose. It can help you make sure your blood glucose isn’t going too high or too low. Write the date, time and blood glucose number in a logbook so you can share it with your diabetes care team. Together with the team, you can use your logbook to make decisions about food, physical activity and medicine.
How Often to Check:
Talk with your doctor or your diabetes care team about how often and when you should check your blood glucose. This also depends on whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. Before a meal or two hours after a meal are common times to check blood glucose. Also talk with your doctor about what your target numbers should be.
Who’s on My Diabetes Care Team?
Your diabetes care team may include:
* Your doctor
* Diabetes educator
* Any other health care provider working to help you care for your diabetes.
And remember, you and your family and friends are the most important members of your diabetes care team.
We hope that this information has been helpful. If you would like further information about diabetes please go to the American Diabetes Website or to http://www.diabetes.org whom we thank for the information that we have shared today.